Monday, May 25, 2015

Big and Bright

At the high school awards ceremony last week, Georgia received a school Academic Achievement award and a district Trustee Award for the top 10% of her class. Two more weeks of school, and our girl will be a sophomore! She was recently elected class representative for student council, and she'll be swimming again, so it's shaping up to be another busy and fun-filled year. We may be going on some college visits with her as well - gulp! But really, as quickly as the next three years will probably fly, the overall feeling about Georgia's next chapter is Excitement, with a capital E!

Our first official Star Sisters picture! Class of '18 and Class of '22!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Love Wins

My friend, Mandy, is fond of that saying, and this weekend, we saw it manifested in a very special meeting. Her daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with ALL about six months before Georgia, and at her final spinal tap, they discovered she had relapsed. When I went to my first Mommas' shave in Los Angeles that summer, I took Tatum's picture and shaved in her honor, as well as Georgia's.

Fast forward nearly three years, and on Saturday, these two mighty warriors finally met in person for the first time - as survivors. And it was glorious!

Love wins. Love wins. Love wins.

In just over a month, I'll be climbing back into the barber's chair with the Mommas in Kansas City. For Tatum and Georgia and every other kid who has fought cancer, I'm shaving to help fund the latest and greatest HOPE in childhood cancer research. I'd appreciate your support, so click HERE to donate! Many thanks, and much love to all!

Monday, May 11, 2015


As we've done for the past five years, on Saturday, we hosted our annual blood drive - and it was the best one yet! Besides Georgia and Ivy's World Famous Lemonade Stand, we added a Kids' Charity Fair, with tables set up by neighborhood kids and friends.They sold a variety of treats and treasures for donations to Ivy's campaign for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, and we raised $323! In addition, we collected 27 units of blood, bringing our five-year total to over 300! So I'd say again that three is a magic number since we celebrated Georgia's third year off treatment with three events in one week and raised a total of over $3000!!! It's been a whirlwind, but so much fun, and well worth the work. Thank you to everyone who donated, participated, and supported - we couldn't do it without you!

 Three years!!!

Yesterday was Mother's Day but it was also a special birthday. Jared is the son of our dear friend, and fellow Peachy Keen, Alyson, and for his 21st birthday, friends and family donated "candles" for his cake. Through their generosity, our Hero Fund broke the $30,000 mark for 2015! Incredible! Now we've got our eye on our next goal - a total of $100K since 2010. We're nearing $90K, so it's definitely within reach! If you'd like to help get us there and help fund life-saving research, click HERE to donate.

We closed out the weekend with a third celebration, the swim team banquet. Georgia has gained so much from this experience - physical strength, more self-confidence, and many new friends - and we are very proud of her success. She was recognized for Academic All District (meaning she made straight As during the season - and beyond ...), but the highlight of the night was when she received the award for Heart of a Champion. Sigh. I really can't think of any better way to describe Georgia. Can you?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

So Much Goodness

Tuesday was such a special day! First, I was reminded of Cinco de Mayo in 2010, when Georgia and her Lolly and I spent a long day at the clinic, making paper flowers.

As funny as it sounds, we actually have a lot of good memories from days like that, mostly because of the beautiful people we were surrounded by. So going back to Dell Children's on Tuesday, the place where it all began, was like coming home in a way. We were able to personally deliver gifts to three precious baby girls, mighty warriors all, and each of them lit up at the sight of their nightlights. It was so wonderful to see! We remember very well how nice it is to have a break in the hospital routine, and getting to be the bearers of some positivity and inspiration, especially in the walking, talking form of our amazing survivor, was an honor and a privilege. Dell Children's is truly the greatest place you never want to go, and it is full to the rafters of incredible angels who never forget their number one priority: caring for kids.

When we were leaving, a familiar voice called after Georgia from down the hall, and here came Elizabeth, our first nurse when Georgia was inpatient at diagnosis. She holds a special place in our hearts for lots of reasons, but we haven't seen her in five years - thanks to Georgia's awesome immune system and a lot of luck! Elizabeth marveled at that fact (said it was unheard of for an ALL kid to go through treatment with no hospitalizations) and couldn't get over how tall our girl is. Me either! It was such a happy coincidence that we were there during her shift, and she thanked us for coming and letting them (the patients and the staff) see for themselves how well Georgia is doing.

All told, the international day of giving was a huge success - over 5,000 children in five countries received some MaxLove! Georgia and Ivy were both thrilled to be ambassadors of HOPE, and we'll be ready to jump back into service anytime Max and his Momma need us. And speaking of SuperMax, his latest MRI results show that his tumor remains STABLE. This is fabulous news and means he can continue to fight the odds and thrive on! Go Max Go!

As for Georgia, we got the results from her latest labs and bone scans, and the news is all good as well. Her bone age is right on the money, and her bone density has increased 16% since last year's scan! She is still well below where she should be, but we are making progress. The Vitamin D and calcium supplements are working and the dosage is just right to combat the osteoperosis. We'll follow up in six months, but for now, she's just going to keep on trucking!

So much goodness this week. Georgia love to all.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Just Super!

He did it! Our superhero friend, Chris, braved the shave on Saturday, and he even let Georgia take a few swipes! We also had a spontaneous shavee, also named Chris, who decided to shave on the spot, which is always fun to see. And thanks to our generous donors, we raised over $2300 (and counting!) for the St. Baldrick's Foundation and childhood cancer research! It was a small but successful event, and we're thinking on some even bigger and better ideas for next year. Thank you to everyone who donated and came out to support us - we love you, San Antonio friends!

High bidder Victor gets to take the first swipe - Chris is dubious.

Georgia's turn. She's getting to be a pro!

All done! Bald is beautiful!

 Chris #2 also braved the shave, with his daughter, Reese, on the clippers.
Thank you, Sands Family!

Tomorrow will also be a SUPER day because we are delivering some MaxLove items to the oncology unit at Dell Children's! Georgia and Ivy are acting as SuperKid Ambassadors for the world-wide launch of the new Super Max the Turtle, whose smile is modeled on the real Max's smile! Over 130 ambassadors from Austin to Australia are getting in on the giving and sharing MAXimum love with kids fighting cancer. We are so honored to be a part of this special event, and we continue to be amazed by and grateful for all that Audra and Max and their family have done to raise awareness and HOPE. We'll post pictures later this week - have a SUPER one, y'all!